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Redshift

Soon, Architects Will Be Able to Create 3D Models From Inside Their VR Headset

09:30 - 13 December, 2017
Soon, Architects Will Be Able to Create 3D Models From Inside Their VR Headset, Courtesy of Redshift
Courtesy of Redshift

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Next-Gen Virtual Reality Will Let You Create From Scratch—Right Inside VR."

The architecture and manufacturing industries are about to undergo a radical shift in how they make things. In the near future, designers and engineers will be able to create products, buildings, and cities in real time, in virtual reality (VR).

In predicting VR’s dramatic evolution, an analogy to early cinematic history is apt: As one legend has it, when the motion-picture camera first came out, actors were filmed on a set, in front of fake trees. Then someone said, “Why don’t you just put the camera in the forest?” Simple, but game-changing. VR technology is already available, and it’s only a matter of time before it is used to its full potential.

The Cutting-Edge Materials Science Making Hurricane-Proof Construction Possible

09:30 - 7 December, 2017
The Cutting-Edge Materials Science Making Hurricane-Proof Construction Possible, Perez Art Museum Miami, built with ultra-high-performance concrete, sustained no damage in Hurricane Irma. Image © Iwan Baan
Perez Art Museum Miami, built with ultra-high-performance concrete, sustained no damage in Hurricane Irma. Image © Iwan Baan

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Hurricane-Proof Construction Methods Can Prevent the Destruction of Communities."

The four hurricanes that slammed into heavily populated areas from the Caribbean to Texas this summer are inching toward a half-trillion-dollar price tag in damages—to say nothing of the work and wages missed by shutting down entire cities. Buildings are the most visible marker of a place’s resilience after a disaster strikes. Surveying the catastrophic damage forces a difficult question: How can it be rebuilt better?

How a Norwegian Infrastructure Project is Using Virtual Reality to Improve Public Buy-In

09:30 - 29 October, 2017
How a Norwegian Infrastructure Project is Using Virtual Reality to Improve Public Buy-In, The complex rail project will involve building 10 kilometers of new track, two tunnels, and one new transit station. Image Courtesy of Bane NOR
The complex rail project will involve building 10 kilometers of new track, two tunnels, and one new transit station. Image Courtesy of Bane NOR

This article was originally published by Aurodesk's Redshift publication as "Norwegian Rail Project Adopts Immersive Design for Public Engagement and Buy-in."

For a disruptive, 10-kilometer-long rail project that won’t even break ground until 2019, public officials and local residents of Moss, just south of Oslo, Norway, have been given an unusually vivid preview that, in the past, only the designers would have seen at this stage.

“We set up a showroom in the city where the public can come to view the project in a theater setting, and the feedback has been quite nice,” says Hans Petter Sjøen, facility management coordinator for Bane NOR, the year-old, state-owned company responsible for developing, operating, and maintaining the Norwegian national railway infrastructure. “Project members also have been receptive. They tell us that they have seen dimensions on the big screen that they did not see in person.”

Architectural Upcycling: 3 Materials That Turn Trash Into Low-Cost Construction Elements

09:30 - 3 October, 2017
Architectural Upcycling: 3 Materials That Turn Trash Into Low-Cost Construction Elements, Courtesy of MetaComb, inc.
Courtesy of MetaComb, inc.

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Architectural Upcycling Builds Earth’s Better Future Out of Trash."

Contemporary designers are recycling waste materials into useable and well-crafted objects, and it’s easy to get the impression that this burgeoning realm of fabrication is destined only for the craft fair. A quick survey of Blaine Brownell’s new guide Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine Our Future turns up a half-dozen Etsy-ready art and furniture curios. There’s jewelry made from coffee grounds, bowls made from plastic bags, and a chair made from artichoke thistle fibers (the “Artichair”).

But these items don’t demonstrate the necessary capacity for heavy lifting and mass-market applicability for an age of climate change and dwindling resources. To grasp the kind of architectural upcycling that can divert trash from landfills and carbon from the atmosphere on a mass scale, it pays to step out of the design gallery and into the laboratory, where architects are inventing a new breed of modular building materials.

How One Concrete Manufacturer Helps Architects Reduce Project Costs With An In-House Design Team

09:30 - 17 August, 2017
How One Concrete Manufacturer Helps Architects Reduce Project Costs With An In-House Design Team, Courtesy of Gate Precast
Courtesy of Gate Precast

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Realizing Architectural Dreams Through Design-Assist and Precast Concrete."

Ancient Romans mixed lime and volcanic rock to form a mortar, a precursor to modern reinforced concrete. This made engineering marvels like Rome’s Colosseum possible—still standing more than 2,000 years after its construction.

Today, this versatile material is evolving further: Precast concrete, which is formed and cured in factories before being installed onsite, is bringing about a new wave of architecture that streamlines the building process while reaching toward big, complex ideas.

"X-Ray Vision" Headset Allows Architects to See Under the Surface of Construction Sites

09:30 - 15 June, 2017
"X-Ray Vision" Headset Allows Architects to See Under the Surface of Construction Sites, Courtesy of DAQRI
Courtesy of DAQRI

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Augmented Reality in Construction Lets You See Through Walls."

Imagine you’re part of a crew constructing a new office building: Midway through the process, you’re on-site, inspecting the installation of HVAC systems. You put on a funny-looking construction helmet and step out of the service elevator. As you look up, there’s a drop ceiling being installed, but you want to know what’s going on behind it.

Through the visor on your helmet, you pull up the Building Information Model (BIM), which is instantly projected across your field of vision. There are heating ducts, water pipes, and electrical boxes, moving and shifting with your point of view as you walk along the corridors. Peel back layers of the model to see the building’s steel structure, insulation, and material finishes. It’s like having comic book-style X-ray vision—and soon, it could be a reality on a construction site near you.

How Starbucks Uses BIM and VR to Bring Local Spirit to its Japan Locations

09:30 - 25 May, 2017
How Starbucks Uses BIM and VR to Bring Local Spirit to its Japan Locations, The Sanjo Karasuma Starbucks in Kyoto was renovated and re-opened in September 2016. The latest coffee flavors are presented within an aesthetic incorporating the concept of “beauty in simplicity” espoused by tea master Enshu Kobori. Image Courtesy of Starbucks Japan
The Sanjo Karasuma Starbucks in Kyoto was renovated and re-opened in September 2016. The latest coffee flavors are presented within an aesthetic incorporating the concept of “beauty in simplicity” espoused by tea master Enshu Kobori. Image Courtesy of Starbucks Japan

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Starbucks Japan Pursues a Local Flair Through Design in BIM and VR."

It’s been 20 years since Starbucks opened its first shop in Japan, bringing a new paradigm to the country’s coffee shop culture—and creating a new, appealing “third place” option between home and work or school.

Notably, almost all of Japan’s 1,245 shops—across all 47 prefectures—are directly run by the parent company. As such, they are planned by Starbucks designers who, instead of settling for standardized designs for all locations, have worked diligently to incorporate features expressing regional, historical contexts and the lifestyles of locals—in short, to appeal specifically to the Japanese market.

7 Ways Architects Can Work Toward Carbon Neutral Buildings by 2030

09:30 - 21 April, 2017
7 Ways Architects Can Work Toward Carbon Neutral Buildings by 2030, Image composite by Micke Tong
Image composite by Micke Tong

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "7 Tactics for Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge and Beyond."

As the impacts of global climate change escalate, forward-thinking architecture firms have committed to being part of the solution. Increasingly, these firms are signing on to the 2030 Challenge and American Institute of Architects’ supporting initiative, AIA 2030 Commitment, which provide a framework to reduce fossil-fuel dependence and make all buildings, developments, and major renovations carbon neutral by 2030.

The 2030 Challenge has been adopted by 80 percent of the top 10 and 65 percent of the top 20 architecture, engineering, and planning firms in the United States, as well as many state and local government agencies. Among these are Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (EDR), a New Orleans–based architecture and planning firm; HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm; and CTA Architects Engineers, an integrated design, engineering, and architecture firm with offices throughout the Western United States and Canada. Here, five professionals from EDR, HOK, and CTA share seven key tactics they’ve employed to move toward the 2030 target—and a sustainable future for the planet.

KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars

09:30 - 21 March, 2017
KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars, The virtual Mars City base. Image Courtesy of KieranTimberlake
The virtual Mars City base. Image Courtesy of KieranTimberlake

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Life on Mars? Architects Lead the Way to Designing for Mars With Virtual Reality."

If an architecture firm is lucky, it can hit two birds with one stone on a single project—for example, prioritizing both historic preservation and energy efficiency. But a team at KieranTimberlake, based in Philadelphia, is aiming for four ambitious goals with its pro bono project, the Mars City Facility Ops Challenge.

Architects Fátima Olivieri, Efrie Friedlander, and Rolando Lopez teamed up with National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), NASA, and the Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) to create a virtual working city on Mars—one that might reap multiple rewards.

Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing "DNA" Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself

09:30 - 15 February, 2017
Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing "DNA" Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself, X-POD 138 pavilion structure, currently installed at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani
X-POD 138 pavilion structure, currently installed at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Haresh Lalvani on Biomimicry and Architecture That Designs Itself."

It’s the holy grail for any biomimicry design futurist: buildings and structures that use generative geometry to assemble and repair themselves, grow, and evolve all on their own. Buildings that grow like trees, assembling their matter through something like genomic instructions encoded in the material itself.

To get there, architecture alone won’t cut it. And as such, one designer, Haresh Lalvani, is among the most successful at researching this fundamental revision of architecture and fabrication. (Or is it “creation and evolution”?) He employs a wildly interdisciplinary range of tools to further this inquiry: biology; mathematics; computer science; and, most notably, art.

Xurf Curved Space, 2008. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani Xurf Ripples, 2007. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani This self-shaping example from 2009—with its variable openings—has implications for building facades, ceilings, and wall systems. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani A number code laser-cut into this GR FLORA series from 2012 established the self-shaping process. As Lalvani's team changed one number of the code, the perimeter edge increased in relation to the area of the surface, and it crumpled. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani + 11

5 Techniques to Incorporate Solar Panels into Your Architecture Beautifully (Not as an Ugly Afterthought)

09:00 - 8 February, 2017

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "5 Ways to Design Solar Architecture Beautifully—Not as an Ugly Afterthought."

No one puts solar panels on their house because they’re sexy—at least, not yet.

Jon Gardzelewski, an architect and associate lecturer at the University of Wyoming in the Building Energy Research Group (UW-BERG), wants to change that. He believes the fact that solar panels are usually an afterthought to the design of a building is a big barrier to integrating them into a critical mass of houses and buildings.

4 Tips to Get Started With Virtual Reality in Architecture

09:30 - 22 December, 2016
4 Tips to Get Started With Virtual Reality in Architecture, Image from the <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/772156/exhibition-drawn-to-the-future'>"Drawn to the Future" exhibition</a> held at The Building Centre in London in 2015. Image © Agnese Sanvito
Image from the "Drawn to the Future" exhibition held at The Building Centre in London in 2015. Image © Agnese Sanvito

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication.

You are walking through an elegant house, admiring the large living-room windows, the paintings on the wall, and the spacious kitchen. Pendant lights cast a soft glow, the terrazzo flooring gleams beneath your feet, the furnishings feel inviting. Then you take off the virtual-reality goggles and resume your meeting.

This scenario is becoming increasingly common as more architects incorporate virtual reality (VR) into their practices. Along with its cousins—augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR)—virtual reality allows designers to push the boundaries of visualization, giving colleagues and clients new ways to experience and understand a building or space long before it is actually built. With VR, architects can transmit not just what a building will look like, but also what it will feel like.

These Architectural Playscapes Provide Therapy for Children with Autism

09:30 - 17 December, 2016
© Sean Ahlquist, University of Michigan
© Sean Ahlquist, University of Michigan

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Architecture for Autism Could Be a Breakthrough for Kids With ASD."

Good architects have always designed with tactile sensations in mind, from the rich wood grain on a bannister, to the thick, shaggy carpet at a daycare center. It’s an effective way to engage all the senses, connecting the eye, hand, and mind in ways that create richer environments.

But one architecture professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is working on a tactile architecture-for-autism environment that does much more than offer visitors a pleasing and diverse haptic experience: It’s a form of therapy for kids like 7-year-old daughter Ara, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

From Dead Space to Public Place: How Improving Alleys Can Help Make Better Cities

09:30 - 15 December, 2016
From Dead Space to Public Place: How Improving Alleys Can Help Make Better Cities

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Reincarnated Architecture: Through Green Alleys, Dead Space Can Live Anew."

How Toyo Ito is Embarking on a "New Career Epoch" With Small-Scale Community Architecture

09:30 - 18 November, 2016
How Toyo Ito is Embarking on a "New Career Epoch" With Small-Scale Community Architecture, Steel Hut, Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture in Omishima, Japan. Image © Daici Ano
Steel Hut, Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture in Omishima, Japan. Image © Daici Ano

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Toyo Ito’s Next Architectural Feat: Revitalizing Omishima Island in Japan."

Last year, as construction at his National Taichung Theater in Taiwan was winding down, Toyo Ito found himself at a crossroads.

A 10-year project in the making, the gargantuan cultural beacon is made of biomorphically curved concrete walls that wind together like a knot of arteries, creating an otherworldly experience for arts patrons. It’s every bit the landmark project you’d expect from 2013’s Pritzker Prize Laureate, but its rapidly approaching completion triggered a vital question: Where to go from here?

How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation

09:30 - 1 November, 2016
How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation, A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup
A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "A Video Game Is Overtaking Post-Occupancy Evaluation in Architecture."

Evaluating the user performance of a particular building design is obviously a good way for clients and architects to gauge whether their design was successful—or could have been better.

There’s even an entire academic discipline called post-occupancy evaluation (POE) devoted to this concept, and Arup is tapping into it with a network of 22 industry partners using the Building Use Studies (BUS) methodology. Too few designers tap into POE, but with gamified simulations done before projects are built, that could change.

8 Tips on Becoming Successful as a Sole Practitioner

09:30 - 11 October, 2016
8 Tips on Becoming Successful as a Sole Practitioner, Perhaps the most famous contemporary sole practitioner is Glenn Murcutt, who still works alone in spite of winning the Pritzker Prize in 2002. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/unrosarinoenvietnam/3783205881'>Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>
Perhaps the most famous contemporary sole practitioner is Glenn Murcutt, who still works alone in spite of winning the Pritzker Prize in 2002. Image © Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This article was originally published on Redshift as "Go Your Own Way: 8 Tips for a Sole-Practitioner Architect to Build Credibility."

If you’re a sole-practitioner architect, you’ve probably already thought long and hard about the pros and cons of working solo, and don’t feel the burning desire to work in a bustling office environment with large-scale projects and constant collaboration. There are plenty of upsides to running your own practice. “I have it pretty good as a sole practitioner,” says Portland, Oregon architect Celeste Lewis. “I love the flexibility it provides with having a child, parents who are ill, and my passion for being involved in the community.”

But along with the benefits come challenges. One of the biggest is proving you’re worth your salt in a competitive marketplace alongside larger, bigger-reputation firms. Here are eight tips to help sole practitioners—who make up nearly 25 percent of AIA-member firms—build credibility.

The Sociology of Coliving: How WeLive Creates a "Third Place"

09:30 - 22 September, 2016
The Sociology of Coliving: How WeLive Creates a "Third Place", Courtesy of WeLive
Courtesy of WeLive

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication (formerly known as Line//Shape//Space), under the title "Live, Work, Play: WeLive’s Live-Work Spaces Reveal a 'Third Place.'"

According to urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, people need three types of places to live fulfilled, connected lives: Their “first place” (home) for private respite; their “second place” (work) for economic engagement; and their “third place,” a more amorphous arena used for reaffirming social bonds and community identities.

This third place can be a barbershop, neighborhood bar, community center, or even a public square. The desire for these three separate spheres drives how human environments are designed at a bedrock level, but increasing urbanism—as well as geographic and economic mobility—are collapsing these multiple spaces into one. The result is a new hybrid building type: a live-work multiunit dwelling that is home, office, and clubhouse.